Creative Sounds, Ltd. Rec, 1969
REVIEW BY: Eric E5S16
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 11/26/2000
[Editor's note: Eric originally wrote this review for his site in 1999. Since its original publication, this disc has been re-mastered and re-issued by Spitfire, including bonus tracks.]
Deep Purple's third album (released in 1969), the self-titled Deep Purple, would feature the band's original lead singer, Rod Evans for the last time. A huge personnel change would occur after this release, and the new lineup would become the classic Deep Purple lineup. But for this review, we take a look at the actual ORIGINAL lineup of Deep Purple, where keyboardist Jon Lord, drummer Ian Paice and the band's primary leader, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, would be the only members who would remain after the lineup change.
"Chasing Shadows" has the "run through the jungle" beat; that is, it is more of an African-beat-driven song. "Blind" and "Lalena" definitely have the late 1960s sound, as they are slow/medium tunes. They're both a cross between songs by either The Moody Blues and/or Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
"Fault Line" and the next two songs on this album have the sound that Deep Purple is most famous for: hard rock, with guitars and keyboards dominating. If you're familar with Deep Purple's songs "Wring That Neck" and/or "Hard Road," (which are the same songs), then when you hear "The Painter," it has the familar main verses. "The Painter" has vocals, and though it's not exactly like "Hard Road" as such, there are some changes in the song, as compared to the rocking instrumental. But you can't help pointing out the fact that "The Painter" has its similarities to "Hard Road" (which is the title that I am most familar with).
"Why Didn't Rosemary" starts out with the typical 1960s psychedelic rock, and right around the four-minute mark, it features a more progressive sound, spotlighting keyboards, then followed by the rest of the band.
According to the listing of songs, the last two songs are "Bird Has Flown" and "April". But, there are only 7 songs on the CD. (Perhaps this 11-minute song is a medley of these last two titles?) Of the two titles, "Bird Has Flown" is the better, as this song is much slower than the previous rockers, and is has a progressive rock sound. The song is mostly instrumental, as keyboardist Jon Lord features the church-type organ as the song's intro for a bit, as the rest of the band demonstrates a more mellow approach throughout the rest of the song. Towards the end, it turns into a beautiful classical music piece (maybe that's the "April" portion of the song). At around the nine-minute mark, it returns to rock with vocals. "Bird Has Flown" is very impressive. With its title, it has the atmosphere of a bird flying for freedom. (And speaking of classical music, Deep Purple would later record a live classical album, Concerto For Group And Orchestra, in 1970).
Deep Purple is a good album. The vocalist may not ring a bell for those die-hard Deep Purple fans, but this was the beginning foundations of a band that would later become one of the best hard rock/heavy metal groups to emerge from the late '60-early '70s period, and run on through the '90s and beyond. Despite its many lineup changes over the years, the main focus of the band has typically been guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and keyboardist Jon Lord, who, along with various lead singers (Ian Gillan and David Coverdale) would crank out some great albums. Deep Purple remains one of the greatest bands ever in rock.
If you haven't discovered the early years of Deep Purple (1968-1970), their early albums will not be a disappointment. It's great to hear a band's early albums, and how they progressed to their more famous works.